The final table is set for the PokerStars.net APPT Macau Main Event after three days of intense poker at the Grand Lisboa hotel and casino. Cole Swannack and Jeppe Drivsholm lead the very international final table, which includes one player from nearby Hong Kong, two from Denmark, and one each from the United States, the Northern Mariana Islands, Norway, Costa Rica, New Zealand, and the United Kingdom.
Chong Cheong, the final table representative from Asia, spent much of the day as chip leader. Near the end of the night, however, he picked the wrong time to throw his weight around and ran into Swannack's aces, making the 20-year old the chip leader for the start of the final table. Drivsholm, only slightly behind Swannack, earned his large stack by turning a straight and getting his opponent to move all in with aces drawing dead. Drivsholm finished fifth in this event in 2008 and currently lives in Macau.
Pros Kai Paulsen, Keith "the Camel" Hawkins, and Albert Kim also survived the day to make it to the final table. Hawkins, with 30 years of poker experience, is the only member of the final table with over $1 million in live tournament cashes. Kim might be the most recognizable face to U.S. audiences thanks to the television time he received for his 19th-place finish in the 2005 World Series of Poker Main Event. Though he doesn't consider himself a pro, final tablist Brian Green also has a few deep runs on his resume. He finished seventh in the 2006 PokerStars Carribbean Adventure Main Event and second in a 2002 WSOP limit hold'em event.
When the day began, 44 players returned, and only 40 would leave with a piece of the prize pool. On the exact bubble, Mikael Rosen was all in with on a flop against . His hand held up, and he was spared the fate of bubbling APPT Macau six weeks after earning that honor at APPT Manila. Once the field reached the money, there was a frenzy of all-in action that took several hours to calm down.
Marcel Luske, the last representative of Team PokerStars Pro, hung on for his first cash in Asia and was eliminated in 27th place. Many of the biggest stacks at the start of the day were unable to keep their chips long enough to make the final table. TJ Vorapanich had a sizable lead at the end of Day 3, but he found himself out in 14th place. Australian Brendon Rubie also lost his chips along the way, finishing in 16th place. Binh Nguyen, fresh from his victory at APPT Manila, made an impressive run in this event as well. He earned HK$140,000 for 13th place to add to the $260,000 he picked up in Manila.
Paulsen and Drivsholm are the only two members of Day 2's top ten to make it through Day 3. Instead, some of the shortest stacks took over the action and surged ahead. Hawkins was the shortest player involved in a giant three-way all in, and he was in big trouble with against and . But Hawkins runner-runnered a four-flush to triple up and conserved enough chips to squeak into the final table with ten big blinds. Victorino Torrres was crippled in the hand, but he managed to rebuild from seven big blinds and will join Hawkins as one of the shorter stacks at the final table.
Here's how the table looks:
Seat 1: Victorino Torres (Northern Mariana Islands) - 396,000
Seat 2: Kai Paulsen (Norway) - 528,000
Seat 3: Jeppe Drivsholm (Denmark) - 1,223,000
Seat 4: Keith Hawkins (United Kingdom) - 174,000
Seat 5: Albert Kim (United States) - 436,000
Seat 6: Chong Cheong (Hong Kong) - 904,000
Seat 7: Cole Swannack (New Zealand) - 1,262,000
Seat 8: Brian Green (Costa Rica) - 970,000
Seat 9: Kenny Nielsen (Denmark) - 791,000
While waiting for the action to start, Lynn Gilmartin introduces us to the final nine:
The high-stakes action will resume on Sunday at 12:15 p.m. local time. Tune in to PokerNews' live coverage from Macau as the final nine fight for the top prize of HK$3,246,200 and an APPT title.